April 22nd, 2019

ELR Euro-Style — King of 2 Miles in France 2019

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

The King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event has gone global. This past weekend, in France, talented long-range marksmen competed at the first-ever Euro version of K02M. The King of 2 Miles in France was conducted April 20-22, 2019 at Camp de Canjuers, a French military zone in Southern France, west of the city of Nice.

The Finals targets were placed at 2657, 3038, and 3576 yards. The longest distance is a bit more than two statute miles (2.0318 miles to be precise), so this was a genuine two-mile competition. During the Finals, conditions were extremely tough, with heavy winds. Hitting the Finals first target (at 2657 yards) on a cold bore proved impossible for most of the shooters. But French shooter (and new King) Bruno Put prevailed, scoring two hits at 2657, and one each at 3038 and 3576.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
K02M in France winner Bruno Put (center) with his match-winning rifle. We are told this is chambered in .375 Snipe-Tac, a .408 CheyTac case necked down to .375 caliber and shoulder blown out to 35°.

King of 2 Miles France Results:
King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
Click chart photo above to see large version.

Frenchman Bruno Put Wins K02M France
Hail to the King! We congratulate Bruno Put, the new King of 2 Miles in France. A member of the French military, Bruno dominated the Finals, scoring hits at all three distances to finish with 25,368 points. He got two hits at 2657 and one each at 3038 and 3576. We are told Bruno was shooting a .375 Snipe-Tac rifle with Warner 361gr Flatline bullets in Peterson brass (according to sources). Conditions were challenging and Bruno was the only finals competitor to score hits at 3038 yards and 3576 yards. Paul Phillips got one hit at 2657 yards, but no other competitor (except Bruno) managed ANY hits in the Finals. K02M founder Eduardo reported: “We had very difficult conditions with fish-tailing winds that complicated hugely the shooting. But even in these conditions Bruno Put was able to reach the 2 miles target.”

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
Benjamin San Marco during qualifying stages at Camp de Canjuers. Photo by Target Shooter Magazine.

For those who’ve attended the North American K02M at Raton, New Mexico, there was a familiar face in France — Paul Phillips of the Global Precision Group and Team Applied Ballistics. Paul finished second overall, with a Finals score of 19,954 points.

Paul was shooting on the three-man Team BCM squad with two Italians, Gian Molina, and Gianfranco Zanoni. The trio did great in the prelims, placing first (Molina), third (Phillips), and fifth (Zanoni). All three team members made the Finals — a very impressive collective performance. Their final places were Phillips 2nd overall, Molina 3rd, and Zanoni 6th.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

Paul reported: “After a long day of shooting, the top ten qualifiers [moved on to] the Finals. Due to inclement weather rolling in, [match directors held] all qualifiers in one day. The wind was pretty much a tail wind all day which benefited the faster shooters greatly.”

Many leading companies have helped Paul Phillips and his team: Applied Ballistics LLC, Bartlein Barrels, Barrett, BAT Machine, Bullet Central, CROSSTAC, Cutting Edge Bullets, Edgewood Bags, Garmin, Holland’s, Kryptek, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Nightforce Optics, Peterson Cartridge Co., Vihtavuori Powders.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
March Scopes Europe and GS Precision products on display. Target Shooter Magazine photo.

Camp de Canjuers in France

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
April 22nd, 2019

Bargain-Finder 187: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s Guide — Ruger 10/22, $189.99 with CODE

Ruger 10/22 sale

If there’s one gun that’s synonymous with shooting sports, it’s the Ruger 10/22. This classic rimfire rifle is inexpensive to buy, yet very reliable. If you’ve been looking to pick one up or buy your kid his or her first rifle, here’s your chance to get a wood- or synthetic-stocked 10/22 from Sportsman’s Guide. Member Price is $199.49 while non-member price is $209.99. But it gets better — use Code GUNSNGEAR to save an additional $20.00. With that Code, SG members can snag one for just $179.49! The non-member price is $189.99 with Code. NOTE: The GUNSNGEAR $20 OFF Code works with or without a membership.

2. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Mini Arbor Press, $74.95

bald eagle arbor press

Have you been looking for a low-cost arbor press to get started with in-line seating? Perhaps you’d like to load your bullets long initially, and then adjust the bullet seating depth during load development (or even at matches). Arbor presses are great for bullet seating tasks at the range. If you need a compact arbor press for your loading duties — here is really good deal. Grab a Bald Eagle Mini Arbor press and you’ll be off and running for the low price of $74.95.

3. Midsouth — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $229.99

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99. Amazon’s best price for this unit is $269.49. But now you can get it for just $229.99 at Midsouth. So you can save at least $40 with this Midsouth sale. Put the money saved into bullets or powder. The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen. Dispenser precision is plus/minus 0.1 grains. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan.

4. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

“case

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Labradar w/ FREE SHIPPING

labradar sale

Labradar is considered the class leader in shooting chronographs. The ultra-accurate, state-of-the-art Labradar chronos have become so sought-after that they’re hardly ever discounted. While that may be true, Bruno’s is doing the next best thing and offering the Labradar with FREE SHIPPING as well as any accessories you buy along with it. This is a great time to grab the most advanced chrono on the market, along with genuine Labradar accessories.

6. Midsouth — 350 Rds 9mm FMJ in Container, $74.99

350rds 9mm FMY ammo

Nearly all gun guys (and gals) own one or more 9mm pistols. Here is some very cost-effective Aguila 9x19mm ammo that lets you train more often. Right now Midsouth is offering 350 rounds of 9mm FMJ plus a nice ammo can for the low price of $74.99, a great deal. At that price you can may want to buy 1000 rounds or more. We’ve shot this ammo. It is reliable and the brass is reloadable.

7. Black Widow — Refurbished Trim-II with Die, $79.50

case trimmer

Trimming your brass to length can be a chore with manual trimmers. There are high-end motorized trimming systems, but some of these cost hundreds of dollars. Fear not as Black Widow Shooters now has the refurbished trim-II w/ free die for only $79.50! That’s a savings of over 50% off the normal price. The beauty of this unit is that you simply attach it to any drill, adjust it to length and start trimming. It’s just that easy. Once you use a tool like this you may never go back to manual trimmers.

8. Midway USA — Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit, $79.99

wheeler scope kit sale

Does the thought of mounting your own scope scare you but you’re tired of paying someone else to do it? With the help of the Wheeler Engineering Scope Mounting Kit your fears will be put at ease. This $79.99 Kit includes everything you need including a torque wrench, alignment bars, levels and more. All of this comes packaged in convenient transport case.

9. Amazon — Champion Precision Sight-In Target, $12.52

Sight-In Targets

Have you ever been ready to run to the range and blow off a few rounds only to find that you’re out of targets? If you’re like us that’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen when heading to the club and nobody likes using printer paper and a marker to make a target. Pick up this 100 count set of sight-in targets and you won’t have to run to the store last minute or dig through the range trash cans hoping to find a barely-used target. This is a great value — only 13 cents per target! Great deal.

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April 22nd, 2019

Frankford Arsenal Hand Priming Tool With Depth Adjustment

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Our friend Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC recently tested the depth-adjustable hand priming tool from Frankford Arsenal. This product, called the Platinum Series Perfect Seat Hand Primer has some unique features. Primer seating depth can be adjusted with a handy wheel in the tool’s center handgrip. Each “click” of the wheel moves the primer post .001″ (one one-thousandth of an inch). Additionally, the design of the case-holder allows quick and easy removal of a primed case. The unit ships with a full set of shell-holders to match all types of cases. Like many other hand priming units, the primers are loaded into a flip tray that attaches to the head of the tool.

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Here is Jim See’s quick review of the Frankford priming tool:

“The Frankford Arsenal perfect hand-priming tool is legit. The tool is built heavy and strong. The only plastic parts in it are the tray and lid. The [primer] seating depth adjustment… is simple and accurate. Easy to operate. I primed 1000 cases, averaging 23 per minute. I adjusted the depth of seating between two different lots of brass in seconds. The system seats primers easily with one hand operation. The cases slide out on their own after seating. Insert, seat, reach for a new case at the same time as you are operating the lever, case slides out and you are inserting the next piece.”

Overall, Jim was “Super impressed with the quality and the results. This thing is super smooth — way less pressure needed than my Lee or RCBS. It’s a lot faster too.” Jim add that one can switch from small to large primer posts in 10-15 seconds.

This Video Shows the Frankford Priming Tool in Operation:

Even with premium brass you may want to adjust your primer seating depth: “Every thing has a tolerance that is acceptable in manufacturing. If primer pocket depth has a .005″ tolerance and the primers themselves have a .002″ tolerance you can see why adjustments would be needed. In this case the two lots were manufactured on year apart. Could you expect them to be identical?”

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 21st, 2019

Sunday GunDay — Forum Fan Favorites

6 PPC flame paint nude forearm surprise killerpaint.com
This 6 PPC features a Nesika Extended ‘C’ action, Krieger 1:13.5″-twist LV barrel, Kelbly stock, and stunning paint by Mike Lavalle of killerpaint.com. For an eye-catching R-Rated paint surprise, Click HERE.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized firearms. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.

30 BR Roy Hunter Curly Maple stock wood Bat action James Lederer barrel
Click image to view large, full-screen photo!

For this week’s Sunday GunDay we’ve selected fiver fan favorites from the Pride and Joy archives. First up is this custom 30 BR brought to you by ANSHUTER2013 and built by Dave Bruno. We were captivated by the clean lines and handsome looks of the Roy Hunter Curly Maple stock. Nestled in that stock is a BAT B action fronted by a 1:17″-twist James Lederer 24″ HV barrel. A Jewell trigger with fixed 42x44mm Nightforce scope round out this beauty.

6 PPC benchrest Seb NEO Lenzi bad Bat action Bix'N Andy Bartlein barrel
6 PPC benchrest Seb NEO Lenzi bad Bat action Bix'N Andy Bartlein barrel

This state-of-the-art 6 PPC boasts all top-tier components. And owner Wes R. shoots it with a superb rest/bag/pad set-up that inspires envy. This “Bughole 6 PPC” features a Bat DS action, Bix’N Andy trigger, with Bartlein 1:13.75″-twist barrel. The stock is a super-low-profile Scoville with carbon strengthening. The front rest is a SEB NEO, while in the rear is the new Lenzi sandbag. Folks tell us the Lenzi is super stable, which improves tracking from shot to shot. Note the timer attached to the front rest as well as the nice Edgewood leather bench “blanket” and arm-rest pad.

Eliseo R1 tube gun tubegun chassis F-Class F-Open .284 Winchester

Eliseo R1 tube gun tubegun chassis F-Class F-Open .284 Winchester

Forum Member Killick attached PickleForks to his handsome blue Eliseo R1 TubeGun now chambered in .284 Winchester, a top choice for the F-Open discipline. Killick explains: “Behold! An Eliseo R1 F-Classer. This started out as an R1 Long Range sling rifle (6XC) with a Borden TubeGun action. It is now rebarreled in .284 Win with Gary’s PickleFork fore-end adaptor. Props to Gary Eliseo at Competition Machine LLC.

.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock
.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock

Sometimes clean and simple is the way to go — particularly with a hunting rifle. WEATHERBYFAN’s 6.5 Creedmoor is built around a Stiller Predator single-shot action in a texturd, green Wildcat Var-Tac stock. The 1:8″-twist Bartlein barrel is finished at 28″. That’s pretty long for a hunting rig, but it delivers added velocity. Finishing off this nice rigle is a Zeiss 6-24x50mm optic. Sometimes less is more and this is a perfect example of that.

.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock
.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock

Our final offering is from Forum member 300_WHISPER. Completed just months ago by gunsmith CALEB85, this .308 Win rifle features a Bighorn TL3 action with a Bartlein M40 26″ 1:10″-twist barrel, and Manners TA Elite stock. Other components include Trigger Tech Special, Area 419 self-timing muzzle brake, and a Weaver Tactical 3-15x50mm FFP mil/mil optic. When test-fired by Caleb with ammo using Berger 175gr OTM Tactical bullets, this nice .308 Win delivered a 1.6″ 5-shot group at 400 yards. The owner says “It’s my dream rifle. I couldn’t be happier”.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
April 21st, 2019

Amazing Accuracy — Kirsten Cuts Cards with Rimfire Rifle

Kirsten Joy Weiss Annie Oakley Card Playing shot

Kirsten Joy Weiss is a phenomenal off-hand rifle shooter. In this video, Kirsten performs a classic Annie Oakley trick shot, cutting a playing card in half with a bullet. Splitting a playing card would be hard enough with a scoped rifle shot from the bench. But Kirsten makes this amazing shot from standing position, shooting over iron sights, with an inexpensive rimfire lever gun. Trust us, that’s not easy. It did take Kirsten three tries, but we’re still impressed.

To accomplish this trick shot, Kirsten’s horizontal aim had to be ultra-precise. A playing card is only 0.25mm thick (about 1/100th of an inch). That leaves almost no room for error.

GIF Animation Shows Bullet Slicing Card in Half:
Kirsten Joy Weiss Annie Oakley Card Playing shot

We know top benchresters can put five shots in one ragged hole at 100 yards, used a scoped rifle sitting on a stable rest. But make those folks stand on their hind legs, hold the rifle, and aim over primitive iron sights, and some of those benchrest aces would be lucky to hit a dinner plate at 100 yards. Kudos to Kirsten for making this great shot.

Kirsten Joy Weiss Annie Oakley Card Playing shot

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April 21st, 2019

Jumbo Playing Card Targets — FREE to Download

NRA Playing Card targets

With the NRA Convention coming up next week, we thought we’d provide some cool targets, courtesy of the NRA. The NRA Blog has published a nice set of super-sized playing card targets. These boast a variety of aiming points (large and small) so they work well for rifles as well as pistols. On the Queen of Diamonds, aim for the large bull-style designs in the “red zone” or aim for the smaller dots on the periphery. For a real challenge, try to shoot each one of the 26 small red diamonds in the curved, central white stripes.

On the Five of Clubs target, you can aim for the smaller club symbols, or shoot for the orange, purple, and green “dripping paint” bulls in the large, central club. The Ace of Spades target offers a colored bullseye in the center, plus a very small bullseye in the letter “C”. That should provide extra challenge for those of you with very accurate rifles. Enjoy these targets.


Click Any Image to Download Printable PDF Target:

NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
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April 20th, 2019

How to Trim Brass Like a Pro — Smart Tips from PMA Tool

Eric Cortina Trimmer
The Giraud power trimmer indexes off the shoulder of the case. It is costly, but offers high production rates, trimming to length and chamfering in one operation.

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offer some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Blog. Here we reprint a PMA blog post that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Forster Case Trimmer

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless.

PMA tool case trimming trimmer micro-adjust

The PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer indexes case length off of the shoulder of a properly fire-formed and full-length re-sized case. We accomplish this through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. When the case is captured within the tool head the tool head rotates along with the case, the spring allows for the case to self-align squarely to the cutter and allows you to control the feed rate into the cutter.

— Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length
— Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation keeps cuts square
— Large, ergonomic design fits the hand well
— Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal bur
— Cases captured in Delrin™ (completely non-marring material)
— Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.

Our trimmer can be used in three ways. The first method utilizes our PMA Tool caseholder drivers and your power screwdriver, drill, case lathe, drill press or lathe. Trimming via this method the case is spun and fed into the trimmer while it is held in your hand. In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after adjusting and locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. We’ve found this to be the quickest method to trim.

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User submissions are welcome.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip Post comment »
April 20th, 2019

Doug Koenig Makes His Mark in PRS Production Division

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

“Koenig” (or König) means “king” in German. That is indeed appropriate for Doug Koenig, 18-Time Bianchi Cup winner, who is now starting to conquer the rifle world as well. Koenig, considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet, proved he’s an ace with rifles too, as he recently won two PRS matches in Production Division. Koenig, Captain of Team Ruger, was shooting a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Notably, Production Division limits rifles to $2000.00 for the gun ($3000.00 overall with scope). You can buy an RPR for around $1100.00 typically ($795.00 at GrabAGun), so Koenig was shooting against competitors with rifles that cost nearly twice as much. That’s impressive.

Koenig Wins Production Class at two Spring PRS Matches
Koenig took home a pair of Production Division titles at this year’s WAR Rifles Shootout and MAP Spring Shootout Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches.

With a final score of 128.00 and a time of 58.51, team captain Doug Koenig took first place in Production Division at the WAR Rifle Shootout PRS match in Mount Victoria, MD. The WAR Rifle Shootout has a challenging 22-stage course of fire. Along with winning Production Division, Koenig also finished twelfth overall. “The tough course of fire and 15-25 mph winds at the War Rifle match were brutal, but my Precision Rifle, equipped with a Leupold VX-3i LRP and loaded with Hornady ammunition, continued to perform,” said Koenig.

Koenig then secured another Production Division win at the MPA Spring Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, GA with a final score of 173.00 and a time of 58.89. “The MPA match had some long shots out to 800-1356 yards, but my factory rifle got the job done and helped me win my third production class title in a row. That proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in PRS competition.”

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

According to PRS standards, Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration, and the retail price may not exceed $2,000.

Krieger Barrels Ruger Precision Rifles Pre-Fit Drop-In Chambered barrel RPR

Pre-Fit Barrel Options for the Ruger Precision Rifle
While PRS Production Division competitors like Koenig must stick with factory barrels, there’s no law that says you can’t upgrade your own RPR that’s not used in PRS matches. A barrel swap is probably the single best hardware upgrade you can make. A new custom barrel will improve inherent accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency. Krieger Barrels offers Pre-Fit barrels for the RPR in many popular chamberings including 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win. These “Drop-In Ready” barrels come finish-chambered and threaded to fit the Ruger action, with factory-spec muzzle threads. The Ruger barrel attachment system allows correct headspace with a pre-chambered barrel. Krieger explains: “Thanks to Ruger’s proprietary barrel nut design, a competent gunsmith will be able to swap out your barrel using an AR15 barrel wrench and proper headspace gauges.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 3 Comments »
April 20th, 2019

Great Deal — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite for $229.99 at Midsouth

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99. Amazon’s best price for this unit is $269.49. But now you can get it for just $229.99 at Midsouth. So you can save at least $40 with this Midsouth sale. Put the money saved into bullets or powder.

The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. We have a 10-year-old first gen RCBS ChargeMaster in our loading room that is still going strong. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen with many nice features. The hopper holds nearly one pound of powder. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan. Your choice of propellant can be measured out 2 to 300 grains with a plus or minus accuracy of 0.1 grains.

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

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April 19th, 2019

Big Berger Bullets for U.S. Military Sniper Program and ELR

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Berger Match Solids are now government-endorsed. The U.S. military has selected Berger’s .375 caliber ELR Match Solid Bullet for the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) program (Phase 2). The ESSO program is a U.S. government project to develop a high performance, extreme long-range sniper weapon system built on a bolt-action, magazine-fed platform.

For ESSO, .375-cal Berger solids are loaded into the .375 EnABELR (Engineered by Applied Ballistics for Extreme Long Range) cartridge. This was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package that mag-feeds well.

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Bryan Litz, Berger’s Chief Ballistician said: “The .375 caliber Berger ELR Match Solid Bullets were optimized for use in the ESSO project, which requires high performance and reliability over many rounds in adverse conditions. In addition to meeting the needs of our US military, the Berger Match Solids provide proven, match winning performance for the ELR competition shooter as well.”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

ELR Match Solid Bullets drive state-of-the-art ESSO weapon systems. The EnABELR is designed to reliably engage targets at distances out to 2500 meters.

Table 1 below presents basic load data for the .375 EnABELR. Considering the Berger .375 Cal 379gr and 407gr solid bullets were developed in conjunction with the EnABELR case, load data is provided to achieve certain landmark velocities with these bullets, for a range of suitable powders. According to Applied Ballistics, with a 30″ barrel, “the .375 EnABELR can safely push the Berger 379gr Solid to 2900 fps, and the Berger 407gr Solid to 2800 fps.”

Table 1 — .375 EnABLER Load Data
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Table 2 — .375 EnABELR Comparative Velocities
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Applied Ballistics notes that: “These are conservative, baseline velocities. Higher velocities are possible but the above performance is safely achievable well within pressure limits of the cartridge. Note the performance of the .375 EnABELR is driven by the high BC Berger Solid bullets. If the .375 CheyTac were loaded with the same bullets, the performance would be about the same. ”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

About Berger Bullets
Berger manufactures precision projectiles and match-grade ammunition for Target, Hunting and Tactical applications in Mesa, AZ. Berger is part of the Capstone Precision Group, the exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Bergerbullets.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 3 Comments »
April 19th, 2019

You Need to Do More Than Just Clean the Inside of Your Barrel

Bolt Action Cleaning lug recess chamber cleaning

Most competitive shooters are pretty good about bore cleaning (some may even clean their bores too aggressively). However, we’ve found that many shooters neglect the chamber area and the bolt lug recesses. It’s too easy to clean the bore, slip out the guide rod and say “I’m done.” Sinclair Int’l explains why it’s important to clean the action interior: “Shooters use a lot of grease and oil on their bolts to reduce friction and to prevent wear[.] Unfortunately, both of these compounds attract grit, powder and primer residues. Cleaning your receiver is especially critical [with] custom actions where the fit between the action and bolt is held to very tight tolerances. Routine cleaning of the action will prevent unnecessary wear on the bolt body, locking lugs, and the action raceways/guide rails. Frequent action cleaning is also essential to keeping the trigger area free of debris which can cause trigger hang-ups and failures.”

Cleaning the Chamber

Combustion by-products, lubricants, and solvent residues can collect in your chamber. Severe build-up of grease and carbon can interfere with chambering. Also some solvents will promote corrosion. You need to keep your chambers clean.

Bolt Action Cleaning

1) Install a clean cotton mop of the correct size on the end of a chamber rod and insert the mop into the chamber. Rotate the mop several times to remove any brush bristles left behind and any excess solvent that was between the rod guide snout and the end of the chamber. Make sure the chamber is dry. Prior to storing a rifle you can oil the chamber but make sure the oil is removed prior to firing the rifle.
2) Alternatively, install an old bore brush on a chamber rod, overlap a couple of patches on the brush bristles, and wrap them around the brush completely. Then insert the patch-covered brush into the chamber while rotating it to remove the excess solvent and debris. Push it firmly into the neck area of the chamber. A similar method is to pierce a large patch on the end of the brush loop and insert it into the action, again rotating the brush as you push the patch up against the breech.

Cleaning the Lug Recess Area

The action lug recess area is one of the dirtiest places on a bolt-action rifle. To properly clean this area, always use a tool designed for the task, such as the $21.50 Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool (part # ACT1) which is part of the full Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool Kit ($40.99, part #ACT2).

Bolt Action Cleaning

1) Insert a cotton roll or cleaning felt into your lug recess cleaning tool and wet both ends and the face of the cotton roll/felt with solvent.
2) Insert the tool into the action and push it forward until it is positioned fully in the lug recess area and rotate the tool head several times. Then reverse the rotation for another few turns. While rotating the tool move it slightly in and out to cover the entire recess area and to also clean the breech face.
3) Remove the tool from the action and inspect the surface of the felt or cotton roll. If there is quite a bit of residue on both sides of the felt/roll, then repeat with another wet felt/roll.
4) When you feel the recess area is completely clean, insert a dry cotton roll into the tool and rotate the tool head to remove any remaining solvent and debris. If necessary, use a second dry cotton roll.
5) You can follow this step up with another pass of a mop or patches into the chamber to get any debris or solvent that pushed forward out of the lug recess area.

Cleaning Tips from The Sinclair Int’l Reloading Press, used courtesy Sinclair Int’l, All Rights Reserved.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip Post comment »
April 19th, 2019

Wind Wizardry for Varminters — Keep the Wind at Your Back

Varmint Hunting varmint safari wind war wagon trailer longmeadow game resort
This impressive war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

When you’re on a varmint expedition in the Western states you can bet, sooner or later, you’ll encounter serious winds. Here’s some advice on how to minimize the effects of cross-winds on your shooting, and easily improve your percentage of hits. In essence, you want to use your ability to change shooting positions and angles to put the wind behind you.

A benchrest or High Power shooter must operate from a designated shooting position. He must stay put and deal with the wind as it moves across the course, from whatever direction it blows. By contrast, a varmint hunter can move around and choose the spot that provides the most favorable wind direction. In most cases you’ll get the best results by moving your shooting position so the wind is at your back. This will minimize horizontal wind drift. Once you’re in position, use wind flags to direct your fire in line with the prevailing winds. A varminter who calls himself “Catshooter” explains:

The String of Death
I remember the first time I was on a dog town in the Conata Basin, in the Badlands area of southwestern South Dakota. Along with two other guys, I drove out for 21 days of shooting, and I never saw wind like that before. If all four tires of our vehicle were on the ground, the weather man said these were “mild wind conditions”.

After the first four or five days, we got smart. We would park the truck on the up-wind side of the town so the wind was at our back. Then we took a piece of string on a 3-foot stick, and set it in front of the shooters, and let the string point at the mounds that we were going to shoot.

For the rest of the trip, we didn’t have to deal with wind drift at all. We just shot the dogs that the string pointed to. We started calling our simple wind pointer the “String of Death”.

We were hitting dogs at distances that I would not repeat here (with benchrest grade rifles). After the first time out, I always took a wind rig like that.

Photos by Chris Long, taken during Chris’s Wyoming Varmint Hunt with Trophy Ridge Outfitters.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
April 18th, 2019

Smart Reloading: How to Set Optimal Case Neck Tension

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus addressed a question frequently asked by handloaders: “How much neck tension is optimal, and how should I select a neck bushing size?” The USAMU offers a straight-forward answer, suggesting that hand-loaders start with a neck bushing that sizes the neck so that it is .003″ less than the loaded outside diameter with bullet in place. From there, you can experiment with more or less tension, but this is a good starting point for many popular cartridge types.

USAMU Reloading

Determining Optimal Case-Neck Tension

This week, we examine determining the correct case neck tension for optimum accuracy. Our method is simple, but relies on the use of case sizing dies which accept interchangeable neck diameter bushings graduated in 0.001″ increments. (Those readers using fixed-diameter dies with expander balls aren’t forgotten, however. Methods of tailoring these dies for proper neck tension will be found below.)

In our experience across many calibers, sizing case necks 0.003″ under the loaded-case neck diameter usually yields excellent accuracy. In other words, the sized case neck expands 0.003″ when the bullet is seated.

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushingsBushing Choice for Optimal Sizing
Over the years, we have periodically experimented with increasing neck tension to possibly improve accuracy. In testing with machine rests at 300/600 yards, accuracy often deteriorated as neck tension increased; thus, 0.003″ expansion (from sized neck to loaded neck) is where we usually start.

Using the .260 Remington as an example, our loaded cartridge case necks measure 0.292”. Simply subtract 0.003” from that, and use a bushing that sizes necks to 0.289” (after springback). There are exceptions — sometimes, brass may be a bit soft or hard. Some case necks might need, say, 0.001” more tension, but in general, this works well.

This .003″ standard of neck tension works very well for single-loaded, long range cartridges. Depending on your caliber and firearm, it MAY also work very well for magazine-fed cartridges. If this neck tension proves inadequate for your purpose, one can increase neck tension as needed while monitoring for possible accuracy changes.

Special Considerations for Coated Bullets: If you are using moly-coated bullets, this significantly reduces the “grip” of the case neck on the bullet, and you can expect to have to tighten your case necks accordingly — particularly for magazine-fed ammunition. In any event, we do not crimp rifle cartridges, and advise against it for accuracy handloads.

Tips for Using Expander Balls
Many savvy handloaders avoid the use of expander balls in high-accuracy reloading, if possible. These can stretch cases and/or disturb the concentricity of the case neck vs. case body. If using a die with an expander ball, tapering both ends of the ball and polishing it to a mirror finish can significantly reduce these effects. (Special carbide expander ball/decapping stem sets are available for this as well.)

The typical dies used with expander balls are intended to take any cases the user may find, and size them down well below the ideal “spec” to ensure any cases will give good neck tension. The necks are then expanded up to provide heavy to medium neck tension as the expander ball exits the neck. The brass is over-worked, leading to premature work-hardening, and seated-bullet concentricity may suffer. However, the cartridges produced are perfectly adequate for most handloaders. Those who seek finest accuracy generally prefer not to over-work their brass if possible.

Another Option — Custom-Honed FL Dies
There are companies which offer to convert one’s standard dies to accept neck bushings, and that gives excellent flexibility. Another, more “old-school” approach, is to have the neck of one’s FL die honed out to the desired diameter for sizing, based on one’s case neck thickness. The expander ball may then be reduced until it barely touches the case necks after sizing, or it may be eliminated entirely. However, once performed, this modification is permanent and leaves fewer options than the bushing route, if one later changes case neck thickness.

Those shooters who turn their case necks for optimum neck wall thickness uniformity, or for a tight-neck chamber, will want to take the reduced neck wall thickness into consideration. For example, when setting up a 7mm match rifle to use a standard hunting die without an expander ball, the slightly thinner necks resulted in a perfect 0.003″ reduction in the fired-neck diameter. The result was a low-cost die that fit with custom precision and yielded excellent, match accuracy!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 18th, 2019

New Product: Barrel Blizzard Dual-Fan Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Keeping your barrel cool has many important benefits — it will definitely enhance barrel life and can help maintain accuracy over the course of long shooting sessions. Now there is a new way to quickly dissipate heat from your rifle barrel — Barrel Blizzard

The makers of BarrelCool have created a new dual-fan barrel cooling device, called the Barrel Blizzard. Each powerful fan moves 30 cubic feet of air per minute — that’s serious cooling power. This unit is powered by a common USB-style battery. The housing mounts easily to the barrel, and the twin fans can each be adjusted 360° to various angles (You can even use one to cool the gun and the second to cool the operator on a hot day). This should be available very soon at the introductory price of $74.99

Reduce Barrel Cooling Time from 45 Minutes to 10 Minutes
How well does the Barrel Blizzard work? The makers tell us: “Repeated tests show that the Barrel Blizzard cuts barrel cool-down times significantly. What might take 45 minutes, can often be reduced to less than 10 minutes. And if you combine the new Barrel Blizzard with BarrelCool, the in-chamber fan, you can get a hot barrel down to near-ambient temperature in approximately 5 minutes.”

Barrel Cool-Down Times for Barrel Blizzard Alone and Blizzard + BarrelCool
Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

We think this product will definitely be popular with varmint shooters in the summer months. Those guys may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. Many serious varminters bring along a couple spare rifles, so that they can swap rigs when one barrel heats up. With the Barrel Blizzard they may be able to keep shooting with minimal wait time, and no rifle change-outs. Byron Sumoba, one of the designers, notes: “With a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery. We are getting about 2.5 hours of continuous use out of a battery pack.”

Who can benefit from this product? The makers say this is “For the shooter wanting to drastically reduce their load development time at the range… or the varmint hunter looking to cool that barrel down and increase barrel life.”

Barrel Blizzard Can Also Cut Mirage
This system can also cut mirage, by reducing the hot air rising from your barrel. If a mirage band is not enough on hot days, you can just rotate one of the fans to send the flow down the barrel towards the muzzle. This will help reduce mirage coming off the barrel.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
April 17th, 2019

Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm Scope Review

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Review by James Mock
If you were charged with building a scope for F-Class or long range Benchrest, what features would you want? Vortex asked that question, received feedback from many competitors, and then set out to build a new high-magnification, zoom comp scope that would set a new “performance for price” standard.

The new Vortex Golden Eagle has features that this shooter really appreciates. It has a power range of 15x to 60x with a 52mm objective lens. Vortex has attempted to keep the weight as low as possible and the cost reasonable. My initial impression is that Vortex spared no expense in developing this scope. The “street price” for this premium scope is a reasonable $1499.00. Plus it has Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Given its features, performance, and price, I believe that this scope will sell very well.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Here are the important features of the new 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle:

Quality Construction

Premium HD, extra-low dispersion glass
APO (apochromatic) objective lens system with index-matched lenses
XRP multi-coated lenses for max light transmission
ArmorTek extra-hard lens coating to protect lens from dust, dirt, and smudges
Fogproof and Waterproof (Argon gas purged)

Specifications

Field of View at 100 yards: 6.3 feet at 15X; 1.7 feet at 60X
Main Tube: One-piece 30mm
Length: 16.1 inches; Weight is 29.7 ounces
Objective Lens: 52mm
Eye Relief: 3.9 inches
Reticles: SCR-1 FCH; ECR-1 MOA

Testing the Golden Eagle

I recently tested a Golden Eagle with the ECR-1 reticle. On this model the Hash Marks subtend 1 MOA at 40X. There is also a fine crosshair reticle (SCR-1) available. Initial tests with the scope were done on June 28th and I was very impressed with what I saw. With a new scope I always shoot the square (box test) to test tracking and amount of movement. I shot the square today after shooting a 5-shot group at 250 yards (my longest available distance). Below is a picture of the box test target that I shot. Yes, shot #5 went through the exact same hole as shot #1.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Below is the 250-yard target I shot before doing the box test. To get to the 100-yard target, I clicked down 14 clicks (1/8th MOA) and the scope was spot on. It is really a pleasure to use instruments that do exactly what they are supposed to do. With the Louisiana mirage, I shot this orange/white target at 40X instead of the maximum 60X. I did not have any problem seeing the 6mm bullet holes at 40X. The optics in this scope are to my old eyes are as good as any that I have used (regardless of price).

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TRCompetition Test Success — Golden Eagle Delivers a Win
My next use of this scope was at our monthly 600-yard match on July 15th. It was a typical mid-July day in north Louisiana — very hot and humid with light switching winds. The mirage was terrible, but I managed to squeak out a victory with a 188/5X score out of 200/20X possible. I shot the Golden Eagle at 40X all day and it performed perfectly. No one could see bullet holes today, even with the high powered premium spotting scopes. This is a quality scope and it may be a “lucky” scope in that I did not expect a win with a 6mm Dasher barrel with 2500 or more rounds through it.

Point of Aim Test with Hood Scope Checker
I also tested the Golden Eagle for holding Point of Aim (POA). For this procedure, I used the Hood scope checker (loaned to me by Bart Sauter). To use this, one mounts two scopes side by side. Ideally one scope has proven its ability to hold POA. Here I used a Valdada 36X BR model as my control scope. It has proven over an 8-year period of time to hold its point of aim. I mounted these scopes on my BAT/Leonard 6mm PPC and adjusted each to the same point on the target.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

As one can see in the above picture, these are big scopes. After the first shot, I noticed that the reticle dot on the Vortex seemed to be about 1/8th MOA to the right of its original position. I stopped to check for ring slippage (which I had experienced in prior tests). There was no apparent slippage, so I checked the parallax and found that there was some parallax correction needed. This was probably the source of the apparent shift in point of aim, but I cannot be sure of that. I fired three more shots (checking after each) and found no shift.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

After testing for POA shift, I fired the remaining rounds using different aiming points. I fired 5 rounds (upper left) using the Vortex and 3 rounds to the right of those using the Valdada scope.

CONCLUSION — A Very Fine Optic at a Reasonable Price
While testing this Vortex Golden Eagle scope, I developed a real fondness for it. I appreciate its great optics, eye relief and crispness of adjustments. If I thought that this scope did not hold POA, I would use my old Valdada in the 600-yard matches in which I participate. Further testing has shown no tendency to shift point of aim.

If I am allowed to keep this scope until the fall, I am sure that I will be able to see 6mm bullet holes in the white at 600 yards. Seeing those 6mm holes is very difficult, but that is my dream for a premium high-powered scope. During the summer months in north Louisiana, the air is much too “dirty” to spot small holes at 600 yards. By October, there should be some conditions in which one can use the premium optics to see bullet holes in the white at 600.

In summary, let me say that this scope has become one of my all-time favorites because of its bright, clear images and its great reliability. If you are looking for a great long-range scope that is reasonable in cost, try the Golden Eagle from Vortex.– James Mock

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 5 Comments »
April 17th, 2019

Extreme Ammo: 5000 Ft-Lbs from the .500/.416 Nitro Express

300 .300 Winchester Win Magnum Mag Swedish Norma Cartridge of the Month Norma USA

When you need the ultimate in “knock-down” power, bigger is better. One of the most potent hunting rounds ever created is the mighty .500/.416 Nitro Express. For those who yearn for “More Power”, this is true “Extreme Ammo”.

Kreighoff unveiled the .500/.416 Nitro Express 3 ¼”, based on the proven .500 Nitro Express case, with a nice, long neck for good bullet tension, a good taper for easy feeding… and enough case capacity. The result was a winner — the .500/.416 NE pushes a 410-grain bullet at 2,325 fps, for just under 5,000 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.

On the Norma website is a collection of Cartridge of the Month Articles, currently numbering 29. Here’s Norma’s run-down on an ultra-powerful big game cartridge, the .500/.416 Nitro Express.

300 .300 Winchester Win Magnum Mag Swedish Norma Cartridge of the Month Norma USA

The .500 / .416 Nitro Express

Text by Norma Staff Writers
The history of double rifle cartridges is a long and colored one. These cartridges were largely designed around the heavy-for-caliber cup-and-core round-nosed and full-patch bullets of yesteryear, and the guns were regulated for relatively close shooting. Almost all of the designs were rimmed cartridges; the rimmed case giving just about the best headspacing available. While the rimmed cartridges didn’t work very well in the repeating rifles, they work just fine in the single-shot and double rifles.

There are some double rifles chambered for the rimless and belted cartridges, but the rimmed cases offer the easiest and most positive extraction. The reputation and performance of the .416 Rigby (and later the .416 Remington) were undeniable, and while there are doubles chambered for these cartridges, Kreighoff saw the wisdom of a rimmed cartridge using a .416″-diameter bullet.

Early in 1996, Kreighoff unveiled the .500/.416 Nitro Express 3 ¼”, based on the proven .500 Nitro Express case, with a nice, long neck for good bullet tension, a good taper for easy feeding under duress, and enough case capacity to mimic the performance of the rimless .416s. The result was a winner — the .500/.416 NE pushes a 410-grain bullet at 2,325 fps, for just under 5,000 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. This ballistic formula has been used on the largest game on earth with great results, and in a double rifle, will allow for the reliable, immediate second shot that double rifle shooters have come to appreciate.

Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.
Namibia Hunting safari

The .500/.416 NE bridges a huge gap between the .450/400 and the .450 NE, and offers a shooting experience closer to the .450/400, while giving plenty of power for hunting any and all dangerous game. I think that the .450/.400 and .500/.416 make a great choice for the traveling sportsman. When comparing the two, the .500/.416 offers a bit more frontal diameter (.416” v. .411”) and a considerable increase in velocity (2,325 vs. 2,050 to 2,125, depending on manufacturer), so it boils down to whether you desire a bit more reach-out-and-touch-‘em or the lesser recoil of the lighter cartridge. What I see in the .500/.416 NE is a double rifle cartridge with a performance level on par with the highly familiar .416 Rigby, yet available in the quick-handling double rifles. [Norma’s African PH .500/.416 NE ammo, loaded with excellent Woodleigh projectiles, is an excellent choice.]

Cartridge of the Month Norma USAIf you haven’t checked out NormaUSA’s website, you should. There you’ll find Norma’s Cartridge of the Month Archive. This great resource provides a detailed history of popular cartridges, along with a discussion of these cartridges’ hunting and target-shooting uses. There are currently 29 Cartridge of the Month articles, including the popular 6.5 Creedmoor.

Also on Norma-USA.com you’ll find information on Norma cartridge brass, bullets, powder and factory ammo. The site also offers a video archive plus links to Norma Reloading Data.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Brass Cleaning Options — Tumbling, Ultrasonic, Chemical & More

cartridge brass cleaning tumbler tumbling vibratory Wipe Out

Shiny brass — it may not shoot more accurately, but it does make you feel better about your hand-loaded ammo. While it’s not necessary to get brass “bright and shiny” after every firing, it is a good idea to clean powder residue, grime, and grit off your brass before you run cases into sizing dies. There are many ways to clean cartridge cases. A quick wipe with solvent on a patch may suffice for recently-shot cases. Older brass with baked-on carbon may require lengthy tumbling. Ultrasonic cleaning is another popular option that gets your brass clean inside and out.

Sinclair International has a series of helpful videos on brass cleaning. These short “how-to” videos, hosted by Bill Gravatt, Sinclair’s past President, cover the various processes you can use — tumbling, ultrasonic cleaning, chemical cleaning, and cleaning by hand.

Video ONE — Cleaning Brass in Vibratory or Rotary Tumbler

TIP: Brass that has recently been shot will clean more easily than brass that has been sitting many days or weeks. If your tumbling media is fresh the job should be done in an hour or less. It’s your choice whether to tumble with primers removed or with primers still in the cases. If you choose to tumble with primers out, we suggest you deprime with a depriming die, rather that put dirty brass into your sizing die. Some people like to add a teaspoon of liquid polish to the media. This does work, cutting tumble time, and making your brass more shiny. However, if you add liquid polish, do that BEFORE you add the brass and let the tumbler run for a 15 minutes to get the polish completely mixed into the media. Otherwise you can else up with gooey gunk inside your cases — a very bad thing.

Video TWO — Ulstrasonic Case Cleaning

TIP: There are many different types of solutions you can use. Soapy water suffices for some folks, particularly if you add a little Lemi-Shine. The Hornady and Lyman solutions work well, and can be used multiple times, provided you strain the solution to remove dirt and grit after cleaning sessions. Many ultrasonic cleaning machines have timers. Experiment with dwell time to see how long you need to immerse your brass. A very small amount of Ballistol in the solution will help lubricate your necks on the inside. This can make bullet seating go more smoothly, with more consistent neck tension.

Video THREE — Chemical Cleaners (Soaking without Ultrasound)

TIP: After using chemical cleaners, such as the Iosso solution, you need to water-rinse your brass thoroughly. A kitchen strainer helps with this (see video at 0:20). Also, don’t forget your brass in the chemical solution — follow the manufacturers recommendations and don’t exceed the recommended dwell time. Chemical cleaners work surprisingly well to remove grease and grime, and the solution can be re-used multiple times. However, if you want your cases to look bright and shiny (like new brass), you will probably have to tumble. [Editor: A very effective new chemical cleaner is the Brass Monkey product from the makers of Wipe-Out and Carb-Out. Add a teaspoon to a gallon of water then soak your brass for 20-30 minutes. It really works — the cases clean up dramatically].

Video FOUR — Manual Cleaning (By Hand)

TIP: Keep some oversize patches in your range kit. At the end of your shooting sessions, wipe off your fired brass with a patch dampened with a mild, non-corrosive solvent (once again Ballistol works well). Before the carbon sets up on your brass it is very easy to remove. For tougher jobs, you can use 0000 Steel Wool (as Bill recommends in the video). You may find that timely hand-cleaning lets you avoid tumbling altogether — or you may choose to tumble (or ultra-sound) your brass only after a half-dozen or so firings.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Spring Seminar — Register Now and Save

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

The Applied Ballistics 2019 Spring Seminar will be held at Snowbird Resort in Utah on June 1-2, 2019. The Seminar Fee is $625.00. However, now through April 21st you can use Code ABWIRE for $75 off registration. Note — Seminar fees do NOT include lodging! However, through May 4, 2019, attendees can reserve rooms at the Center-Cliff Lodge at the special seminar rate of $145.00 per night plus tax.

CLICK HERE to Register for $550 with Code ABWIRE

Primary speaker Bryan Litz will present material from his books, the Applied Ballistics Lab, and his experience shooting in various disciplines. Additional speakers addressing ballistics and long-range shooting topics will include Nick Vitalbo, Doc Beech, Alan Barnhart, Mitchell Fitzpatrick and other industry experts.

Seminar attendees will receive multiple Applied Ballistics products, all included in the registration fee:
1) Full library of Applied Ballistics Books and DVD set, valued at $275.
2) Applied Ballistics Analytics software, valued at $200.
3) Binder including hand-outs, articles, and worksheets.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

Seminar Topics Will Include:

1. Trajectory Buildup – Baseline Trajectory, Gravity Drop, Vacuum Trajectory, and Aerodynamic Drag

2. Trajectory Features – Zeroing, Point Blank Range, Danger Space, and Uphill/Downhill Effects.

3. Sights – Tall Target Test (Sight Scale Factor and Cant), Aperture Sights, Turrets vs. Holding Reticles, and Extreme Adjustment for ELR.

4. Drag Modeling – What is a drag model, how is drag measured, how is a drag model used, and standard drag models.

5. Ballistic Coefficients – What is a BC, G1 and G7, Curve Fitting Challenges (averaged BCs, segmented BCs), and Estimating BCs.

6. Wind – Nature of wind, Mechanism of wind deflection (velocity scaling, lag time, wind deflection), near vs. far wind, wind measurement, terrain and vertical wind, competition Wind strategies, Wind coaching.

7. Basic Stability – Gyroscopic Stability Factor, Twist Rate Effects (muzzle velocity, precision, and BC).

8. Advanced Stability – Gyroscopic vs Dynamic Stability, Limit Cycle Yaw, Twist rate and Stability Effects in Transonic Flight, and Spin Decay.

9. Secondary Effects – Spin Drift, Coriolis, Aerodynamic Jump, Secondary Effects in Ballistic Solvers.

10. ELR Shooting – Transonic effects, Secondary Effects, Critical Nature of (Ranging, MV Measurement, Drag Modeling, Wind), Equipment Currently Being Used and Bullet Selection.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

11. WEZ Analysis – What is WEZ, Confidence Environments, Precision (Wind, Range, MV), Accuracy (Sights, Trajectory Modeling, Secondary Effects, Calibration (Trueing)).

12. Ballistic Solvers – Components (Interface, Solver/Simulation, Model), Potential Accuracy, and walk-through of use with technical explanation of inputs.

13. Other Topics – Technology, Laser RangeFinders, Non-Linear Divergence, and Much More.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip Post comment »
April 16th, 2019

Get S&W Pistol and AR15 Complete Lower for $379.99

Palmetto State Armory S&W Shield 9mm pistol AR15 AR AR-15 complete lower assembly

With this insanely good deal from Palmetto State Armory, you can get a pistol AND half an AR rifle for just $379.99 with FREE shipping. The deal is for a PSA AR-15 complete lower with Magpul stock PLUS a M&P Shield compact 9mm Pistol. This is an incredible deal. As Ammoland.com notes: “Compare that price [for pistol plus AR lower] to $430.00 for just the S&W M&P Shield 9mm Handgun elsewhere online.”

Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield is a concealable, striker-fired polymer pistol with 3.1″ barrel. Overall legnth is 6.1 inches and unloaded weight is just 19 ounces. The Double-action-only (DAO) trigger break consistently at about 6.5 pounds.

The PSA AR-15 Complete Lower is the Magpul MOE Edition that features a quick-adjusting Magpul stock. This PSA lower will accept all AR15 magazines, however, no magazines are included. This quality, reliable lower assembly is reviewed in this video:

Permalink News Post comment »
April 15th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 186: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.99. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

2. Amazon — Plano 52″ Two-gun Case, $81.15

Plano aw2 all weather 2-gun rifle case hard case FAA

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. This case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost $270.00.

This 52″ case is available now on Amazon for $81.15. That’s a very good deal. This same 52″ Plano AW2 case sells for $169.99 elsewhere.

Specifications for 52″ Case:
Exterior Size: 53.5″ x 17″ x 7″
Interior Size: 51.5″ x 14″ x 5.5″
Dri-loc Seal and Pressure Release Valve
Dual Stage Lockable Latches for Travel
Customizable Pluck-to-fit Foam
Easy Glide Enclosed Wheels

3. Savage — 10% Rebate on Savage, Stevens, and Fox Firearms

Savage Stevens Fox guns rifle rebate cash back tax season savings promotion Vista Outdoor

Get a 10% Factory Rebate for ALL Savage, Stevens, and Fox firearms purchased from now through May 15, 2019. This Tax Season Rebate could easily save you $50, $100, or even $150 on a fine hunting, tactical, or rimfire rifle. During this Tax Season Savings Event, you’ll receive 10% back on your purchase with a maximum $150 Rebate. The Rebate amount is calculated from the retail purchase price excluding taxes and shipping/handling fees. Rebate submission deadline is 6/14/2019. REBATE FORM HERE.

4. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler LITE, $99.99

Frankford Aresenal Tumbler Sale

Wet-tumbling with stainless media gets large quantities of cartridge brass clean inside and out. If you’ve wanted to try wet-tumbling, here’s your chance. Midsouth has the Frankford Arsenal Platinum LITE Tumbler on sale for just $99.99 — a total steal. If you run large quantities of brass, you can get the larger-capacity Frankford Arsenal Platinum Tumbler for $179.99. Either one of these is a reliable, durable (and watertight) machine that should provide years of worry-free tumbling.

5. CDNN — Weatherby Vanguard 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $799.99

Weatherby Vanguard Modular rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

This is a great deal. MSRP on the Weatherby Vanguard Modular Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor was $1519.00. Now you can buy this rig for just $799.99 on sale. That’s less than you’d pay for most custom actions by themselves. Yes this Weatherby rifle qualifies for PRS Production class — it’s 100% within the rules. Put the hundreds of dollars you save into optics, ammo, and a suppressor — the 20″ barrel comes pre-threaded for brake or suppressor. This rifle has a nice 2-stage trigger, and Luth AR adjustable buttstock fitted to a CNC-machined anodized aluminum chassis. Weatherby guarantees SUB-MOA accuracy with premium ammo.

6. Amazon — Carbon Fiber Bipod and Pic Rail Adapter, $25.99

Carbon Fiber Bipod

Carbon Fiber BipodLooking for a new bipod that can work with a Picatinny rail? You’re in luck because we just found this 6″ – 9″ adjustable Carbon Fiber Bipod and M-Lok adapter combo for the amazingly low price of $25.99 including a handy adapter allowing you to securely attach the bipod to a standard Picatinny Rail. There are also versions with KeyMod or M-Lok Adapters for $27.99. Purchasers have given this unit high praise, with a 4.5-star rating. Here is an actual buyer review:

“Excellent bipod at an excellent price. It seems well-built and is far more rigid and sturdy than others like it. The bipod came with a Picatinny adapter [M-Lok or KeyMod optional]. Mounting was quick and easy. Overall I think this is by far the best bang-for-your-buck bipod.”

7. Midway USA — Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph, $324.86

Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph

All serious shooters need a modern, reliable chronograph to determine load velocity (and consistency). You need good velocity data for your ballistics AND to evaluate the consistency of your hand-loads. The Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph is one of the best on the market. Now you can get this fine Chrono for just $324.86, marked down from $380.00, a $55 savings! We like Magnetospeed chronos because you never need to go downrange to set up tripods and screens. Data can be downloaded to your mobile device.

8. Walmart — Keypad Handgun and Valuables Safe, $59.00

digital finger access handgun safe Tracker Walmart

This compact Tracker Safe features a digital keypad system that works with 3- to 8-digit passcodes you set. This allows fast access in an emergency — once you enter your code, the spring-loaded door flies open for immediate access to your weapon. You can also lock/unlock the safe with provided manual keys. Walmart offers this safe for just $59.00 with FREE shipping. That’s a bargain. This safe comes with mounting hardware for wall or floor installation. The interior has one shelf plus carpet-type padding.

9. Amazon — Boosteady Pack of 1000 Patches, $8.99 – $13.99

BOOSTEADY Pack of 1000 Professional Square Gun Cleaning Patches

A clean gun is a happy gun and since patches are the core of any cleaning regimen why not grab some great patches for a great price? Amazon sells 1000-count packs of Boosteady Professional Cleaning Patches starting at just $8.99 for 1″ square patches — a great bargain for 1000. Now you won’t feel so bad running a few extra patches every time you clean just make sure you got the last bit of crud out. Boosteady patches are very highly rated by purchasers and come in 1″ square ($8.99), 2″ square ($11.99), and 2.5″ square ($13.99) sizes, inside a convenient box.

10. Amazon — Universal Cleaning Mat, $19.99

Universal Cleaning Mat

If you’re like most people you spread out a towel before tearing your gun apart. This often leads to missing parts, a messy work area and when you spill anything it just soaks into your pad. Now you can pick up this universal cleaning mat that also includes a MAGNETIC parts keeper on the side. It’s nearly 4 feet long and is made of a oil and solvent resistant material for easy cleanup.

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